Burial will be at Riverside Cemetery in Spencer. Military services will be conducted by the American Legion - Glen Pedersen Post 1 of Spencer.
Tom passed away Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, at the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Thomas Wendell Griffin, the son of Paul and Clara (Moeller) Griffin, was born Sept. 1, 1926, in Spirit Lake, Ia. He spent his early childhood in Spirit Lake, where as a youngster he set pins at the local bowling alley for a penny a line. The family then moved to Wapello, Ia., in the early 1940's.
Tom entered into the military on Nov. 25, 1944, serving in the U.S. Army during WWII. While in the Army he obtained the rank of Staff Sgt. He also was a squad leader of the 24th Infantry Division, stationed in the Philippines and Japan. He was honorably discharged on November 15, 1946. Following his military service, he returned to Wapello and worked in the Ordnance plant where they made ammunition. In 1951, he moved to Spencer and worked in the Tire Center of Montgomery Ward.
On May 30, 1953, Tom married Arlene VandeMark in Jackson, Minn. Following their marriage, they made their home near Everly, Ia. Tom helped Arlene's mother on the farm, worked as a carpenter in the construction of the North Mall, and then worked at the Spencer Foods for 18 years. Tom enjoyed pheasant hunting, fishing and in his later years, riding his four-wheeler around the farm. He enjoyed watching Iowa and Iowa State sports, the Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan years, and John Wayne western movies. He was a member of the American Legion and V.F.W.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Thomas J. Griffin Sr.; three sisters; and four brothers.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Arlene of Everly; his son, Terry and wife, Brenda of Spencer, Ia.; his daughter, Vicky Griffin of Everly, Ia.; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one sister, Audrey Whitaker of Wapello, Ia.; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Warner Funeral Home of Spencer is in charge of arrangements.